Movement: Why regular exercise is vital to our wellbeing

exercise and health BFI studio classWe know we need to exercise regularly.  Yet making movement a routine part of our daily lives can be a challenge. For years, I moved energetically and even strenuously daily  – taking dance as a teenager and in college, and then discovering Pilates in my early 20s. Naturally, owning a Pilates and Movement studio for over 15 years here in Tucson, and prior to that running studios in Denver, I’m passionate about the power of daily movement.

That said, it doesn’t mean I feel like it every day. Or even if I feel like it, that I’m able to fit in the time and level of exercise that I’d like. Sometimes daily life can present one obstacle or distraction after another, and my best intentions go astray.

I know many of you experience the same thing.  Yet to improve our mind and overall health, and to age well, demands that we commit to daily and regular exercise.

A dear client asked me yesterday: “Can you give me one tip to help me get up in the morning and exercise? I have good intentions but just can’t seem to incorporate it into my life.”

My answer: “Start small, but be consistent.  For example, perhaps lie on the Foam Roller 5-10 minutes. Or start your day with a few rounds of Sun Salutations. Those are a great way to deepen your breathing and increase your flexibility.”

Another tip: Increase your lunchtime an extra 15 minutes to allow for a short walk after eating.

 There are 3 components to a healthy fitness program:

  1. Flexibility
  2. Strength training
  3. Aerobic exercise

Flexibility = stretching. One thing that we can do to help us lower the chance of injury is to stretch before or after exercise. A favorite of mine is the Sun Salutations series from yoga (mentioned above) – it’s an ideal way to greet the day and focus on how your body is feeling before beginning strength or cardio vascular exercise. If you plan to attend my small group meditation class in April, you’ll learn a chair Sun Salutation series there.

Strength training = weight bearing exercise. Strength training includes a variety of weight bearing exercise. Hiking can be weight bearing- simply place a small back-pack on and chose a walk or hike that isn’t flat.  Pilates is excellent for strength and flexibility.

Aerobic = endurance. Walking briskly just 20 – 30 minutes three or four times per week is a great start to an aerobic exercise habit. If you haven’t moved in a while, try 10 minutes and build up. You’ll be surprised how quickly your stamina increases! Set yourself up for success by calculating your Target Heart Rate. If don’t know yours or would like to learn – just send me a note .

Exercise does not mean diving into an Olympic training program. Although, if you are training for specific event, it is always my pleasure to help you meet you training goals.

As always, please talk to your physician before beginning a new fitness program. You want to improve your health, not risk it.

In health,

genevievenedderwithmandala

 

 

Inspired by Lesson 3 of the Perfect Health program, “Perpetual Renewal.” Now registering for the June 2017 program at 520-299-6541.

Forward Equals Backwards Series #3

Diana Bailey Essential Motion Pilates

Forward Equals Backwards and You Own It: Balance and Coordination

By featured Guest Writer Diana Bailey

The Popular Equipment: Easy to Learn and Portable

The number one balance challenge in this studio, based on ease of learning, is the foam roller. The variety and unique core strength challenge this auxiliary piece offers are of the highest caliber. The roller offers work that can be both engaging, and in light of the diverse skills needed, astonishingly difficult to master. It is easy to see why clients love it.

The BOSU lessons are more devious because balance is challenged in all directions at once; Up and down, side to side, front to back, and rotation. It can be used seated, prone, supine, kneeling or standing. It is more difficult to stand on it without shoes, and when it is less inflated. The safety issues are nominal, but this does require a higher degree of core stability than the roller. To get the best training, the directive is to consciously disturb the balance—and if lost, work to recover–rather than attempt to hold stillness.

Comparatively, on a danger scale of 1-10, the roller is a 2, and the BOSU can be up to a 5. For the sake of perspective, aerial dance, climbing, or slack line work can be a 10. The best training for the most people takes place in the 1-5 range: Nominal safety issues with great mental/physical difficulty. The floor is a piece of cake after standing on a foam roller or a BOSU!

The bonus of both pieces is that, after a few simple instructions, they teach self-regulation and correction by speaking directly to the part of the mind that governs motion. Poor alignment choices or missed timing result in a restart with improved chances of success. Unlike a treadmill or stationary bike, these offer no surface for clothing to hang on or cover. They lurk in the corner, always in view, inviting use.

The roller and BOSU are a fun way to learn about and improve the following:

1. Core stability and flexibility
2. Balance and Coordination
3. Arm and Leg freedom
4. Breathing and relaxation in motion
5. Mental focus and stillness
6. Posture—especially head, neck & shoulders
7. Hunching or swayed back
8. Stiff shoulders
9. Deep abdominal strength
10. Spatial reflexes—knowing how to “land on your feet”.

In this region of the US, ice is a major cause of injuries. Clients have commented on the difference even a few sessions of training have made in their responses to a sudden, uncontrolled loss of footing. Skiers notice improved awareness of weight shift and greater control. The compass that keeps us responsive to challenging moments becomes more internal as balance and coordination improve. The applications range from developing the confidence and stability to walk easily down a set of stairs without the need for a hand rail, to improving the layout portion of a back flip in a gymnastic routine.

Please Join Me for Wellness Weekend at Bear Mountain Lodge!

Bear Mountain Lodge in lovely Silver City, New Mexico is hosting a Wellness Weekend June 20 – 21, 2014. The fun and healthy two day getaway will include activities such as yoga, Pilates, hiking, education on labyrinths, personal presentation in wardrobe, and local flora (Download the Wellness Weekend flier). Your wellness and nature team will include:

Space is limited so please contact Bear Mountain Lodge at 575-538-2538 to register and reserve your space today!